Western Han Dynasty bronze ding. 206 BC - 9 AD. 7 1/2" tall, with lid x 7 1/2" across handles. The lid is 6 1/4" diameter. 4 lb. 1 oz. The exterior patina is dark brown, almost black, with patches of pale gray with splashes of green; except for a few touches of reddish-brown cuprite and a rough area on the bottom of the vessel which ranges from black to shades of warm gray to green with bright, tiny inclusions of cuprite, azurite, and malachite. The interior of the vessel exhibits a heavy complex of cuprite, malachite and azurite in scaly laminations, with areas of thick earthen deposits. A line is visible which indicates the level of water which at least occassionally entered the vessel during burial and which formed the hydrous copper carbonates, and also shows the angle at which the vessel rested. The lid's interior has a smoother layer of blue-green carbonates, on a creamy gray oxidation over a rusty-red cuprite foundation. One leg is bumped slightly out of line, and one of the 'feet' on the lid is missing. From a Chicago 'Gold Coast' collection, inherited from an old Boston estate. Details to purchaser.